I traveled to New York a few weeks ago and upon standing in line to check-in my luggage I was directed by the ticket agent to use a computer kiosk. That seemed strange that America West and possibly other struggling airlines needed to hire people to tell me to use the computer that I would have used regardless.
It got me thinking about their jobs and my past job at Intel. I realized that SO many people and positions can be replaced. Think about how many of the activities or routines you handle in your position are mundane or repetitive. I know my old group dealt with tons of basic Microsoft Excel maintenance that a computer can replace. Think about ATMs and the time that saved, self-checks the grocery store, those new DVD self-check out systems and other things coming out daily.
It is not so much of outsourcing that people should worry about (well they should) but having your position be so bland that you can be easily replaced. I think it comes from complacency and people not improving their positions. You need to worry when you are doing things that anyone with a high school diploma could learn if they had the right time and a good teacher. I think as my friend Ian would say it is about finding a passion and the right position where no computer can replace your service.
Web design, programming, call centers, internet kiosks, optimizing #s and so many things can be sent to India or be handled by a computer. I think students and young professionals need to recognize that immediately and start to stand out in ways where positions can’t be cut. Or people can take this threat as a chance to start something themselves and not be at the mercy of a higher ups position to replace you.